Kerr (not) coach­ing

In the fi­nal anal­y­sis, Dud­ley’s right. The Suns wouldn’t have been pat­sies for Kerr were they sim­ply bet­ter on the court. “Maybe right now, we don’t de­serve re­spect. When you keep get­ting beat[en] by 40, teams won’t re­spect you.” Which is why it won’t hap

Business World - - SPORTS | WORLD - AN­THONY L. CUAYCONG AN­THONY L. CUAYCONG has been writ­ing Court­side since Busi­nessWorld in­tro­duced a Sports sec­tion in 1994. He is the Se­nior Vice-Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager of Ba­sic En­ergy Corp.

It’s easy to see why the Suns balked at the idea of War­riors head coach Steve Kerr hand­ing over his clip­board to his play­ers for the du­ra­tion of their match the other day. For all their lack of com­pet­i­tive­ness, they have pride, and the sight of the op­po­nents tak­ing turns on the hot seat while play­ing them no doubt gnawed at it. To them, the im­pli­ca­tion was clear: They aren’t good enough to be taken se­ri­ously, so much so that even those with ab­so­lutely no ex­pe­ri­ence what­so­ever can do what’s sup­posed to be the most dif­fi­cult job in the sport.

For the record, Kerr in­formed coun­ter­part Jay Tri­ano that he was go­ing to make the un­prece­dented move be­cause, as he ex­plained in the af­ter­math, “I have not reached them for the last month. They’re tired of my voice.” Nonethe­less, the Suns didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate the de­vel­op­ment, with vet­eran Jared Dud­ley ar­gu­ing it re­flected “a lack of re­spect for an op­po­nent” and guard Troy Daniels tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to throw shade at the 2016 Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Coach of the Year. “I don’t think it’s hard to coach those guys. I think any­body can do it.”

Re­gard­less, what Kerr termed an “ex­per­i­ment” worked. The War­riors found them­selves en­gaged from start to fin­ish. As two-time Most Valu­able Player Stephen Curry ex­plained, “It was a col­lec­tive ef­fort. We were just try­ing to stay locked in and en­joy the process of get­ting fo­cused and know­ing our sets, be­ing thought­ful about what line­ups are out there, what we’re try­ing to ac­com­plish and ex­e­cute.” Added gen­eral man­ager Bob My­ers, “I thought it was great!”

Need­less to say, the War­riors re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant back­lash for what nu­mer­ous quar­ters deemed to be a “stunt” they wouldn’t pull against bet­ter com­pe­ti­tion. And if Kerr “didn’t have four All- Stars, he wouldn’t be do­ing that, added the Suns’ 2015 firstround pick Devin Booker. Still, he stuck to his guns, ru­ing the fact that “whether it’s a con­tro­versy or not, it has to be­come one... [in] the world we live in.” More­over, he dis­closed that he in­tends to em­ploy the same method again. “It’s a good ex­er­cise,” he said, “so I can see [us] do­ing it again one time, a cou­ple of times.”

In the fi­nal anal­y­sis, Dud­ley’s right. The Suns wouldn’t have been pat­sies for Kerr were they sim­ply bet­ter on the court. “Maybe right now, we don’t de­serve re­spect. When you keep get­ting beat[en] by 40, teams won’t re­spect you.” Which is why it won’t hap­pen any­time soon, and why other bench tac­ti­cians can make light of it in ret­ro­spect. It may or may not be a show of ar­ro­gance, but un­less and un­til the War­riors are knocked off their

perch, they should be free to em­ploy it as they wish.

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